real madrid

Real's James Rodríguez out to turn the jeers into cheers

The Colombian is under no illusions as to the season he's having, but is confident that he can win back the faith of the Real Madrid support.

Real's James Rodríguez out to turn the jeers into cheers
CHEMA DIAZ CHEMA DIAZ

For the third game in a row, Real Madrid's James Rodríguez was whistled by the home crowd. The Colombian international finds himself firmly under the miscroscope of the Santiago Bernabéu, with every foot he puts wrong seeing him rounded on by the fans.

James' poor season - one that has been in stark contrast with the terrific maiden campaign he enjoyed in the Spanish capital - has caused not only the Real faithful to feel less than satisfied with him, but club chiefs too. Indeed, he's now among the candidates for a summer departure from Los Merengues.

The attacking midfielder is under no illusions as to how he's been performing and knows he's currently well short of top form - but, at the same time, he's confident he can turn the jeers into cheers.

James (right) in training with Real Madrid team-mate Karim Benzema.

Speaking after Madrid's Champions League win over Roma earlier in March, James defended the supporters' right to boo if they aren't happy with what they're seeing. And he's determined to fight tooth and nail to make the fans fall in love with him all over again, and ensure he remains at Los Blancos for many years to come.

James' early-season fitness issues, allied with a lack of chemistry with previous coach Rafa Benítez, had a damaging effect on his campaign. Present boss Zinedine Zidane is at pains to ensure he feels important and make plain his trust in the player, but the 24-year-old is yet to repay that faith by doing the business out on the pitch.

Against this backdrop, a clutch of major European sides are monitoring James' situation very closely. Manchester United, Manchester City and Bayern Munich are all rubbing their hands together at the prospect of him being shown the door, with José Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti - who worked with him at Real last term - all admirers.